• A summary of your completed team project

As a group we couldn’t help but see the need for sustainable means of food production in urban communities, the excessive pollution in city centers, the epidemic of food deserts, and the pervasive nature of environmental racism.

After months of research, we found that community agriculture and urban gardens can work to reduce climate change, promote food security, encourage community engagement, improve community relations, and increase the health of the general public.

We organized a social media campaign, an information campaign aimed at disseminating information through Instagram and Facebook Posts. The culmination of our work was a planned Zoom Seminar event with practitioners from the Urban Gardening field; Ibti Vincent of FoodPrints, Alex Morales of the Bridgeport Green Village Initiative, and Professorial Lecturer Victoria Kiechel of American University.

Instead of planting seeds in our own community garden locally in DC, we hoped to inspire dozens of individuals to plant seeds in their own communities. We spread a plethora of valuable information and our event answered a lot of the important questions that arise to better prepare anyone interested in starting their own garden. From the reviews and comments, we received after the event’s conclusion, we’re confident in asserting our project accomplished everything we hoped for and exceeded our expectations in every way.

  • A reflection on your growth as a leader at American University this past academic year

Over the past year, I’ve grown in so many ways; chiefly in the area of self-awareness. I’ve learned so much about myself, found words for what I once thought was indescribable, and realized the importance and potential that mistakes have in changing anything, from my life to a simple outcome of a project.

Learning my specific style of leadership, fine tuning the hyperaware, overanalytical, and meticulous nature of my preferred leadership methods have overwhelmingly helped, not just with the group project this year but group projects throughout both the fall and spring semester and personal projects, assignments, and tasks outside of academia.

A specific instance of this was a mistake I made during our canvassing for participants to speak at our Zoom event. I though my mistake would cost us the success of our event and that pushed me to work harder to provide for my team; if it weren’t for my analytical or meticulous nature, I might not have acted in the way that I did. Self-awareness is of utmost importance to me, even more so thanks to the level of growth I’ve experienced this year.

  • A reflection on the team dynamics of your group during the implementation phase of your project

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we were not able to do everything that we wanted; but circumstances that require individuals to compromise are common. As a team, we learned that we should always be prepared to deal with those situations. Having a plan B, C, D, B2, C2, and D2 is super crucial to success and it definitely helped us to fight through those moments of doubt.

Communication is key. If I could reflect on the dynamics of our team and the most important aspects of it in one sentence, that would be it. We flourished when we communicated, and we struggled when we didn’t. We worked to limit those instances of minimal communication and in the end, we presented an amazingly successful project that went far better than any of us could have hoped for.

Our group is cohesive and cooperative, we’re all phenomenal at listening to one another and had absolutely no issues deliberating with one another. Through those hard moments, we all leaned on one another, we pulled one another up, and we came to trust and love one another. A team that becomes friends, becomes family, and that’s just what we did.